Theoretically, an elimination diet is any diet that “eliminates” foods for the purpose of reducing an adverse reaction. Sometimes people call a gluten-free and dairy-free diet “the elimination diet.” Occasionally, a low salicylate diet is referred to as an elimination diet; however, the most frequent definition, and the one we’ll be using, is a diet that eliminates the top 6-10 most common food sensitivities (these are IgG antibody immune system responses and other cell-mediated inflammatory responses to food).
An elimination diet removes:
The purpose behind this diet is to remove the foods causing inflammation in the gut and rest of the body. Inflammation is at the root of most chronic disease, and this is true for neurological conditions including ADHD, autism, anxiety, and depression.
After removing the foods, you can look for the reduction of symptoms to see if you are on the right track. Then an elimination diet has a “provocation” phase where foods are reintroduced a few weeks later. This phase is where you can check for the return or flare up of symptoms associated with food intolerance. Typically the elimination stage lasts 2-3 weeks. The reintroduction phase can last several weeks.
This diet is very helpful, especially when the gluten-free and dairy-free diet is not enough.
I teach parents and individuals in my Nourishing Hope for Healing Kids program and practitioners in my BioIndividual Nutrition Training how to successfully implement an elimination diet based on the unique needs of the individual.